Tag Archives: benghazi

Obama-Legacy2

How Far Will You Go to Protect a Legacy? (Even a Bad One?)

In eleven days, Donald J. Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, thus ending the eight year tenure of Barack Hussein Obama.  It has become apparent that all thoughts and efforts, as of the November election, have turned to preserving the legacy of the outgoing 44th President.  Secondarily, it has become apparent that the Democratic party is also trying to preserve some kind of legacy.

What exactly is Barack Obama’s legacy going to be?

Obama Care?  (The Affordable Care Act that was not so affordable?)

Quadrupling the national debt to a staggering $20 trillion, plus or minus a few hundred billion?

Overseeing the military response to Benghazi?

The picture of American sailors on their knees after being captured by the Iranian navy?

The picture of him kissing the ring of the King of Saudi Arabia?

“If I had a son, he would be just like Trayvon Martin.”

Placing the most people in US history on welfare and food stamps?

Overseeing 19 million people leaving the US work force?

Help me out here!  I am trying to come up with something positive for POTUS 44 to hang his hat on, and I am coming up short.  He will be the first black President, but that is obvious and now I may be branded a racist for pointing out the obvious.  He may very well be the first Muslim President.  This has never been confirmed by the liberal-biased main stream media.  Of course, any media outlet that would have the cajoles to speculate about his religious preference would immediately be branded as ‘Islamophobic.’   Ah, but there is something that can be attributed to POTUS 44.  Political correctness!  We have now been inundated with people being black, gay, lesbian, illegal alien, transgender and a host of other things as not only being equal to the citizenry of the United States, but being special!  If you do not buy into that program, you are automatically branded as a racist, xenophobe, Islamophobic or any other of a myriad of phobias with negative connotations.  So, I, Grandpa T, hereby declare POTUS 44 as the President of Political Correctness.  Ta  da!  I knew I could come up with something positive.

But, with all the baloney aside, have you noticed the efforts on the part of Obama and the Democratic Party to save Obamacare?  Let me provide a little history for edification.  In 2009, immediately after being inaugurated, and with control of both the House of Representative and the Senate, the Affordable Care Act was rammed down the throats of the country.  It was not so much of an issue of being passed, but how it was passed.  It was passed without anyone knowing what was in it as it was almost 2000 pages long.  It was passed without any input by the Republican party, regardless if they had ideas that would have improved the bill or not.  It was passed by the Democratic Party without anyone  reading the bill.  Do you remember those infamous words of March 9, 2010 by the vaunted Nancy Pelosi?  “We will have to pass this bill to find out what is in it.”  Say what?  This is how government works?  Even at the time, I was shocked that so stupid a statement by Nancy Pelosi and so stupid an action by our Democratic controlled government took place.  Instead of ‘shoot first, and ask questions later,’ our Federal legislature decided to ‘enact first and work out details later.’  At the time of enactment, the Democratic Party basked in the glory of having taken total credit for the Affordable Care Act without interference or input from the opposing party.

Now comes the election of 2016 and with it comes the the victor, the future Non-Political Correctness POTUS 45, Donald J. Trump.  Donald, being a successful businessman by all measures, knows the Affordable Care Act is too costly for the users and it is just not working.  The promises made, such as lowering health care costs and being able to keep you present physician, turned out to be false.

So now we get to the legacy of what the current Democratic Party will have for now and in the future. That legacy will include being whiners, criers, divisive, counter-productive, poor losers and not being able to grasp reality.

Beginning with the Affordable Care Act, the Democrats are saying (even before Trump is inaugurated) that the Republicans do not have a plan. In reality, there are about 15 different plans floating around, and hopefully, there will be constructive discussion about what is the best and most affordable plan for America, utilizing the best from each plan including some parts of the original Affordable Care Act.  Of course, the Democrats do not want to replace the Affordable Care Act because they dubbed it Obamacare.  And, by totally repealing it as the Republicans have promised, would tarnish the largest part of the outgoing POTUS’s legacy.  I do not see the Republican controlled legislature replacing Obamacare without discussion and input from both sides….something the Democrats did not do in 2009.  But I would also like to point out that if the Democrats would have taken the time and effort to improve, read, and cooperate concerning the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, it would not have to be repealed today.  You screwed up…all to buy votes.

As poor losers, the Democratic party is going all out to purvey that Donald Trump’s presidency as not being legitimate.  They cannot believe, or get over the fact that their candidate is not being crowned ‘Queen Hillary the First’ in eleven days.  Never mind that she never campaigned in the formerly blue states because of over-confidence in winning them.  Never mind that her opponent made three times more speeches and campaign stops than she did.  Never mind that her campaign palaver was based on poor versus rich, common people versus large, evil corporations or that the common American could not survive without the interference and support of a bloated federal government.

But Hillary, here is where you lost the election.  95% of my and Grandma P’s friends and acquaintances are either college graduates or military veterans, or both.  90% of them supported Donald Trump.  And you, Hillary, from the view of your ivory tower, determined that you were omnipotent and were justified in calling us and our friends, deplorable and irredeemable, because we supported Trump. All of this from a woman whose husband was a draft dodger.  All of this from a woman that allowed four Americans to be murdered in Benghazi.  Who is deplorable now?

The Trump presidency will be considered illegitimate because Hillary won the popular vote.  Hillary did win the popular vote. (Thank God for the electoral college!)  But if you subtract the votes from one state, California, Trump wins 49 states and Hillary will be the ‘Queen of California!’  We need to take a closer look at California.  California has a Hispanic population of 14,990,000.  It has a Caucasian population of 14,920,000, 5,736,098 Asians, 2,552,858 blacks, and 648,172 American Indians.  This gives California a total population of 39,487,345.  But here is where it gets interesting.  34% of the United States population receiving welfare, live in California even though California accounts for only 12% of the total US population!  To simplify, there are 23,113,200 welfare recipients living in California…over half its population!  So, if you subtract the votes received from both candidates that were cast in California, Trump wins!  Now I am going to speculate and put myself out on the ‘xenophobic’ limb; how many illegal aliens do you suppose voted in California?  If the United States required voter ID’s to vote, such as the picture ID’s with thumb print and hologram as required in Mexico to vote, how do you think the vote total would change?  Hmmm. (California needs to re-think the idea of ‘sanctuary cities.’  Without federal aid, it would be bankrupt in seconds!)

I forgot.  The Russians are responsible for skewing the election to Donald Trump.  Even though the US intelligence community has said numerous times that the Russkies did not directly affect the vote total, that is not what the Democrats want to purvey.  Never mind that John Podesta’s email account password was, well, ‘password’.  Those darn Russkies released all kinds of unsavory things that skewered the election.  Unsavory Clinton foundation illegal foreign contributions?  Paid demonstrators to disrupt Trump rallies?  What were those Russkies thinking?

Did you know that there are efforts in five states to keep Trump off the ballot in 2020?  Yup. Maryland, California (no surprise there!), Maine, Massachusetts and New York are all trying to take his name off the ballot if he does not release his tax statements.  I never knew one’s tax statements were a condition of running for office.  Talk about sore losers!

Of course, in true whiner, crier, divisive and counter-production form, the Democrats are already toting that they will fight against any supreme court justice nominee, and play devil’s advocate and fight most cabinet nominee appointments.  None of this was done by the Republican party in 2009 after Obama was inaugurated, but the Democrats, with their addled thinking, are justifying why they will do it now.

So what has the Democratic party become?  Do you remember any riots, protests, movie star bad-mouthing, politicians swearing non-cooperation when the incoming Obama was elected in 2008?  No?  That’s because there weren’t any!  Bad behavior, lack of respect, the use by celebrities to use their station in life to exacerbate lack of respect, the promise of non-cooperation by politicians now in the political minority are only traits of today’s Democratic party.  That is what the ‘ivory tower’ attitude, justified in their own minds, Democratic party has become.  With all of the Democratic machinations that have taken place since the election, Hillary really needs to reevaluate who the ‘deplorable and irredeemable’ really are.  It’s you.  And this will be the Barack Obama and Democratic party legacy.

voter-id

Is Donald Trump Right About Election Fraud?

Donald Trump has been pounding on the podium recently contending that there is ‘election fraud’ during this upcoming election.  Is he right?

I believe that there could be election fraud, but not for the same reasons as Trump.  Are you familiar with the Voter ID Laws?  A voter ID law is a law that requires some form of official identification in order for a person to register to vote, receive a ballot for an election, or to vote.

In the United States, voter ID laws have been passed in thirty-three states.  At the federal level, the 2002 Help America Vote Act requires a voter ID for all new voters in federal elections who registered by mail and who did not provide a driver’s license number or the last four digits of a Social Security number that was matched against government records.

Voter ID laws first generated controversy in 1999 when Virginia attempted to implement an ID requirement in a pilot program.  Proponents argue that the laws are a common-sense effort to reduce voter fraud and place little burden on voters.  Opponents argue that voter fraud is extremely rare and has been magnified as an issue to create barriers to voter registration and voting that discriminates against minority groups and others who are statistically less likely to possess photo IDs.

So here are the ways that the states have dealt with voter ID requirements.  Seven states require strict photo ID in order to vote.  Three states have a strict non-photo ID requirement.  Nine states have a non-strict photo ID requirement, which includes my state.  I find this interesting as my home state would not issue us a ballot without a picture ID, so I am confused as to what non-strict photo ID requirement actually means.  It’s not the first time I have been confused.  I digress. Thirteen states have a non-strict non-photo ID requirement.  Appallingly, there are eighteen states and the District of Columbia that do not require any ID to vote at the ballot box.

By now, you realize that the voter ID requirements are certainly diverse and nondescript. If I could provide simple definitions for those five levels of voting requirements, I would.  But here is where I become concerned.  I view my vote as being precious as it is a part of the great democratic process by which we elect our political representatives.  Nowhere in any of these laws does it require proof of citizenship.  There are many states that will issue photo IDs without requiring proof of citizenship.  Thus, with the photo ID, an illegal alien is now voting in our elections.  With the number of illegal aliens now in the United States, there is little doubt that they will influence this election.

I have needed a photo ID to board a plane, to board a cruise ship, to renew my car insurance, to use a credit card, to write a check, to buy Sudafed, to see a doctor, to check in to a clinic or hospital and to vote.; to name a few.     How is this discriminatory as people of all races and backgrounds do at least two or three of what I have listed.  Provide a birth certificate and get a photo ID.  How difficult is that?  Yet, I have seen people vote by presenting an electric bill with an address that is located in the polling place precinct.  No ID was required as to whether the voter was the name on the electric bill.  How many times could that electric bill be used to vote?  How many times can dead people continue to vote?  No, I am not making this up.

Minnesota has had two election recounts in recent years.  In both instances, the Republican candidates where leading by small margins.  After the recount, both candidates lost.  In both cases, uncounted ballots were suddenly located in the heart of the liberal metropolitan area.  Surprisingly, just enough Democrat votes were found.  Voter fraud?  Ballot box stuffing?

Also in Minnesota, a young reporter went into a courthouse in a Minneapolis suburb with a hidden mini-camera.  He went into the courthouse with the following story, “I work in a nursing home, and I am concerned that some of our patients will have difficulty getting to the polling places.”  The result? The clerk handed him 25 absentee ballots without question, without proof.  What happened next? He was able to do it again with the same results at another courthouse!  Voter fraud?   That little item appeared on 60 Minutes.

It astounds me that we now have chips on our credit cards to avoid theft, but far less care is taken to protect the sanctity of our elections. If this is what Trump is referring to when he speaks of election fraud, then I certainly can concur.

Or, is Trump referring to the biased media reporting?  During the last debate, he came under fire for what he said about women in a tape from 2005.  His type of talk was referred to as ‘locker room talk.’ I have referred to it as ‘gutter talk.’  (By the way, this kind of talk would eliminate 90% of the men I have known in my life from being president, as well as an equal amount of women!)   Either way, the screaming liberals came out of the woodwork to express their disdain for such talk.  Republican politicians began jumping ship from his support. Donald scored some points during the debate by saying that talking about women was one thing, but abusing them in action was another.  Of course, this was a not so veiled reference to Bill Clinton. That pretty much rocked Hillary for the rest of the debate.   An then….and then….just as Grandma P predicted  (which I found very uncanny and somewhat frightening) women could not come forth fast enough to tell their stories of how Donald Trump groped them and made sexual advances upon them.  This was no doubt to bring Donald down to the level of Bill (he would have to practice to match Bill!) and to detract from those damn pesky deleted emails that Wikileaks keeps publishing.  As I am writing this, more of these accusation stories have proven to be fictitious.

Those deleted emails are getting more interesting by the day.  They have indicated that there is collusion between the Clinton campaign and the media.  There is plenty of evidence of what was done to erase those damaging emails.  There are references about influence peddling as Secretary of State coupled with  contributions to the Clinton Foundation.  There is now evidence that they attempted to pressure the FBI to declassify some of the emails, so the campaign can say that no classified emails were sent on a non-secure computer.  It appears Hillary received the questions concerning the debates before the debates.  Bill Clinton received a million dollar birthday gift from the country of Qatar, while at the same time, the State Department was indicating that Qatar was sponsoring terrorism!   I am waiting for the shoe to drop on Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation. The Clinton Foundation being the personal piggy bank of the Clinton family and no doubt funding a huge portion of her election campaign with foreign contributors.  Of course, this is illegal, but that has not stopped the Clinton money machine yet.

But with all of this information about the missing emails….with all the serious illegal, immoral and indecent items that are being released in these emails….the mainstream media has devoted seven times more TV air time to Trump’s female accusers than they have on the deleted emails.  In fact, some of the major TV networks are not reporting about the released emails at all!

The timing of these women accusing Trump could not be more suspicious.  If they were so concerned about how he treated women, why did they not come forth during the primaries.  Certainly these maidens of virtue would have been Ted Cruz supporters and would have wanted to do the proper Christian thing.  But noooooooo, after winning some points against Bill during the last debate, that is the response that Trump received.  I am not saying Trump is an angel, but the timing and the number of these accusations appears to be coordinated.

It is obvious to me that these ranting self-righteous Liberals are not students of history.  The Democratic party has had more than their fair share of presidential and political bad boys   When Franklin D. Roosevelt died in Warm Springs, Georgia; he was not with Eleanor, his wife.  He was with his mistress of decades, Lucy Mercer.  We all know that JFK was a presidential bad boy.  So were his brothers Teddy and Bobby.  Then we go to LBJ.  Another presidential bad boy who had mistresses in the White House.  Then there is Bill Clinton.  “I did not have relations with that woman.” Well, he did have relations with that woman and lied numerous times about it.  “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones!”

If Jesus Christ would appear on earth and run for president as a Republican, I am convinced the liberal, biased media would tear him apart.

This is the sleaziest election of my lifetime.  The personal attacks have no boundaries or limitations. I fear it will only sink further before election day.   It is very disheartening to see the media, our watch dogs of society and of truth, fall lockstep into this biased reporting and smear campaign.  Forget the issues, don’t report the relevance of those missing emails….smear, smear, smear!

Does Donald Trump have justification for saying the election campaign is rigged?  If you take into consideration the biased media, fictitious accusations, voters voting without an ID, voters voting who may not be US citizens, well, how could you disagree.

God Help America.  God Bless America.

accountability

Accountability. A concept of the past?

Big Daddy G had some strange rules when it came to my curfew during my teenage years.  If I was driving my car, or his car, I had to be home no later than midnight.  But if I was a passenger in someone else’s car, I could stay out to 1:00AM.  I never figured that out, and I never asked why.

One night, I was with another group.  The fun went past curfew and I knew it.  I asked the driver to turn off his headlights as he was entering the driveway.  We lived on a farm, so as you passed the house and headed toward the barn, we had a loop in the driveway.  Kind of an agricultural cul de sac that was used for fueling the tractors, loading the milk, and all things agricultural.  The driver let me off before making the loop.  I was attempting to be stealthy and sneak into the house, but, after the driver made the loop, he turned on his headlights and blasted his very loud horn.  Of course, everyone in the car was laughing their butts off as they sped out the driveway.  I made the quickest move possible, through the kitchen, through the living room, all in an attempt to get to the stairway of escape.  The stairway of escape was blocked by Big Daddy G.  Dammit!  Caught.  “We’ll talk about this in the morning.”  Do I need to point out that those words, those 7 little words, were an euphemism?  What it really meant was that he was going to do all the talking, and I wasn’t going to be a part of this conversation.  I was held accountable for my actions.  One week…no car…no dates. Phew!  It could have been much worse. Much worse.

Are you familiar with poaching?  Quite simply, it was the taking of game either out of season or with illegal means, or both.  Being from the Midwest, hunting was popular.  For many, it was hunting deer. The hunting season for deer in our state started the first week of November and ended just prior to Thanksgiving.  It used to run over Thanksgiving until the wives complained about the lack of husbands over that holiday and the Department of Natural Resources complied by closing the season in time for Thanksgiving.  That left us about three weeks to get our deer.   Quite honestly, if you didn’t get your deer in the first 3 or 4 days, your chance of success diminished greatly as the surviving deer became ‘gun shy’ and a lot more weary of strange figures in the woods.  I digress.  Some people just couldn’t work hard enough to get a deer legally, so they resorted to ‘shining.’  Shining was using car headlights or a strong flashlight to light up the deer eyes and temporarily freeze the deer. Then they would shoot them.  The penalty if caught?  Firstly, you lost the deer. Secondly, you lost your gun!  Yup.  It was confiscated and sold at auction. Thirdly, you lost your hunting privileges for life!  And, if they caught you with the game in your vehicle, your vehicle was confiscated and sold at auction!

The laws were explicit.  A hunter was suppose to be a responsible hunter. But, if you chose to be a poacher, you would be held accountable.  (There is that word again…accountable.)

Now that I have related my loss of privileges because of curfew and how a poacher could potentially lose their vehicle, I have a question.  Do you think that a convicted felon should lose their ‘right to vote?’

As can be imagined, each state addresses this issue differently.  Ten states have laws that may take voting privileges from a convicted felon for life:  Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, and Wyoming.  Twenty states will allow voting privileges restored, but only after serving the term of incarceration, parole, and completing probation.  I can go with that.  Four states restore voting privileges after terms of incarceration and parole.  Fourteen states plus the District of Columbia restore voting after incarceration only.  And, two states have unrestricted voting privileges and convicted felons can vote by absentee ballot!  Do you want to guess which states?  Maine and Vermont!  I cannot believe a convicted felon in those states can vote before serving at least the term of their incarceration.  Where is the accountability in that?

For those bright readers that are up on current events, you already know that I am guilty of a federal government faux pas.  (Will I lose my voting privileges?)  The Department of Justice has recently determined that they will no longer refer to the ‘guests’ of their prison facilities as felons or convicts. The reason? It is because after being released from prison, it is too difficult on the ‘previous guests’ emotionally!  I wish I were making this up.  With all of the events happening in this country and the world, this is what the government has focused on as witnessed by a very proud POTUS giving a speech justifying this miraculous decision.  I saw that speech and thought it was an April Fools prank.  It was not.

Assistant Attorney General, Karol Mason, wrote an article for the Washington Post saying, “many of the formally incarcerated men, women, and young people I talk with say there is no harsher punishment than being branded a ‘felon’ or an ‘offender.'”  Really?  Maybe they should have thought of that before performing a felonious act!  That would be a novel concept!

Being that our ‘politically correct’ government has decided such a bold move is historic, what are the new acceptable names for convicted felons? Apparently, drug dealers, muggers, killers, rapists, swindlers, robbers, and thieves will no longer be acceptable, so just what will be acceptable? Knowing this administration, I am almost ready to bet they will publish a list.  I would like to be witty and offer some possible names, but I am too flabbergasted by this whole situation.

So here again, all for the sake of political correctness, our government has, somewhat intentionally, removed accountability from convicted felons.

Grandma P was perusing part of my article and brought forth a valid concern. With such concern as to what we call convicted felons, what do we call the victims?  Ah, yes.  It seems our judicial system sometimes forget about the victims of the felons.  Do you think their feelings have been hurt being the victim of a crime?  I find it interesting, and indicative of our government, that they are concerned more about the feelings of a convicted felon than of the victim.  In my universe, that seems backwards.

How could I possibly write about the disappearance of accountability when such things as Benghazi, the Clinton Foundation and classified emails are still haunting presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. The difference between a Political Action Committee (PAC) and a foundation is that a PAC cannot accept money from foreign donors.  There are no such restrictions on a foundation.  Do you find it disturbing that all donations to the Clinton Foundation are funneled through Canada?  Canada, a country with laws that conveniently protect the identity of contributors.  The money is then sent into the US into a foundation that spends less than 10% of its receipts on charitable events.  Thus, it has been declassified as a charity.  Initially, I thought the classified missing emails were about Benghazi. That may be incorrect.  Current conjecture is that it is about foreign donors contributing to Hillary’s election campaign surreptitiously through the Clinton Foundation, with a small amount of Benghazi thrown in.  This would be against the laws of this country.  Madam Clinton has done an excellent job of fending off congressional inquiries and FBI investigations.  She is the antithesis of accountability.

I am going to make a rather bold and brash prediction about the upcoming election.  If, in the next 6-8 weeks, polling shows that Clinton will not win a general election, she will be charged for one of her many crimes and be forced to drop from the race.  Accountability at last!  Then I think a dark horse would be thrown into the mix at the Democratic convention.  The name of that dark horse?  Joe Biden.  Untouched.  Unscathed.  Very much a democrat.  Time will tell.

Fast-Information-Fast-Forgetting

Fast Information = Fast Forgetting

The one thing that amazes me about our ‘instantaneous-quick as a flash’ culture is our ability to forget situations, items and events as quickly as we learn about them.  There appears to be a direct correlation between these two events.  So I, Grandpa T am offering the following formula for our ‘instantaneous- quick as a flash’ culture.

The faster we receive news and information is in direct proportion to the speed with which we forget that news and information.  Or, f {fast} I {information} = f {fast} f {forgetting}.  Now that I have advanced that formula, am I eligible for some kind of Nobel prize?  After all, if the POTUS can get the Nobel Peace Prize after being president for about 10 minutes, I should be able to get some kind of a prize, too!  (Or…….did you forget he received it?)

There is no question that we receive information much, much faster than we did during my formative years.  Look at all the available sources.  We have the obvious mass media sources of TV, radio and newspapers.  But what really makes this instantaneous is the internet, personal computers, personal handheld devices, cell phones and personal devices that can take either pictures or movies and the ability to create a flash mob in a moments notice with these devices, all with the use of social media.  Look at what can be instantaneously flashed around the world because of dash cams in police cars, from cell phones and from other hand held devices.  It is truly amazing!

Grandma P has a cell phone that has an app that reports traffic accidents, road closures or bridge closures in our area.  Amazing!  Rather than go into a bad traffic area, the app directs you to an alternate route.  Need another example?  Recently, my best friend’s daughter got married.  Because of time and distance, Grandma P and I were not unable to attend.  I was on my computer at the same time the wedding was occurring at the opposite end of the country.  Golly and gadzooks, pictures of my friend escorting his daughter down the aisle were appearing on a social media website within seconds of it taking place!  Pictures of the ceremony and reception were being posted within minutes of the actual occurrence!  My friend was amazed when I called to tell him how beautiful the bride looked and how good he looked in his tailored suit.  It was as if I were in attendance.

November 7, marks the 3rd anniversary of writing this blog.  Yes, if you are sharp, you will realize that I began writing this within minutes of the last presidential election in 2012.  I was bummed and I needed a way to vent my anger, angst and disbelief.  Our country (as you may have forgotten) was experiencing high unemployment, a colossal increase in the national debt, did not have a budget for four years, a large percentage of people receiving welfare and food stamps…..and the country decided we liked that situation so much that we reelected the person that got us there.  That would be Barack Hussein Obama. I digress.

I began visiting some of my previous written posts on the blog site.  Then I realized that what was the ‘hot topic’ at the time of my writing the blog is all but forgotten.  Thus my formula for the Nobel prize of fast information = fast forgetting.  I have given examples of the quickness of obtaining information, let me give you some examples of how quickly we forget.

The financial crisis in Greece.  Do you remember that?  The country of Greece represents less than 2% of the world GDP.  Because of its socialistic society, it could no longer afford all the socialistic programs.  Over 40% of the population was on the government payroll.  People were retiring in their 50s with full salary and benefits.  Coupled with the high unemployment rate, it was a disaster in the making.  They raised taxes on the wealthy to afford their bloated programs.  The result?  The wealthy, which pretty much encompassed all of their educated professionals such as doctors, dentists and engineers, began migrating to other countries to escape the high taxes.  The Greek financial crisis whipsawed the world financial markets and stock exchanges for months. There  was a movement to kick them out of the European Economic Community, thus taking them off the euro and forcing them to go back to the drachma as their currency.  Here is the point of this blog…have you heard about the Greek financial crisis lately and do you think it has gone away?

Benghazi and lost emails.  Benghazi is all but forgotten.  The only reason the name is ever brought up is because of Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy.  If she were not a candidate, I very much doubt it would ever be heard of again.  As for the emails?  Well, it is amazing to me that she has abused her position as former Secretary of State to do something infinity larger than Richard Nixon’s Watergate break-in, and he resigned the presidency.  His crime involved reelection.  Hers involved national security.

IRS and the Tea Party Scandal.  This whole event has been swept under the carpet to the point of creating a mountain of dirt under the fibers.  You would think that much dirt would eventually cause a problem, but rest assured, Lois Lerner is still retired, walking the streets and collecting a full pension for being the director of the IRS.  She is thus liberated even after using her position to throttle the Tea Party movement prior to the elections by not granting tax exempt status to their cause.  The IRS throttled many conservative groups other than the Tea Party.  In front of numerous congressional fact-finding committees, our Lois, our government employee, pleaded the 5th amendment to many of the direct questions.  A classic case of the government forgetting that they work for the people.  Why has this whole affair gone MIA from the media?  Well, it was my opinion that Lois Lerner was not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree and that she was directed in her actions by her boss.  At that time it would have been the Attorney General, Eric Holder, and  he worked for the POTUS.  How convenient during an election year.

Fiscal Cliff and National Debt.  How can anyone forget the overused usage of the words ‘fiscal cliff?’  Yet, when was the last time you heard the term?  Two years ago, it was the term de jour coupled with the continuing controversy about our national debt.  At the time, the national debt was $18 trillion and rising.  The prognosis was it would be over $20 trillion before Obama left office in 2016.  If you can believe Donald Trump, it is already over $19 trillion with over a year to go in the Obama presidency.  Wow!  If you can believe financial pundits, they are predicting a fiscal collapse of mega-proportions on a world scale once the US debt reaches $24 trillion.  I have never heard the reason why, but I have heard that figure and predicted result more than once.  Perhaps the dollar will be replaced as the world reserve currency by some other currency.  The dollar being the world reserve currency is the only reason why we have been able to accumulate so much debt.   If the government was a corporation, it would have had to declare bankruptcy long ago!  Look at what the Greek government has had to do, and then magnify that by about 15.  It is surprising that this pending fiscal crisis was not thoroughly addressed in the first two Republican presidential debates.  But then, it would have made the present administration look bad for quadrupling our national debt in 8 years! 

After reading the previous paragraph about our predicted financial doom, isn’t it interesting that the three of the leading Republican presidential contenders; Trump, Fiorina and Carson are not career politicians.  Unlike the present administration, where less than 10% of the cabinet or staff have had experience in the private sectors of our economy, you can surmise that if any of these three become president, 40% or more of the cabinet or staff will have experience in the private sector of our economy.  That is what we needed in 2012, but opted for the status quo by reelecting Obama.  These three leading Republican contenders have sent shock waves through all career politicians because of their non-political experiences and their rapidly growing popularity among the populous by not being career politicians.  Regardless who the next president will be, they will have to face some very burgeoning fiscal issues.  They will also have to retool our country from socialism back to its capitalistic roots.  But again, I digress.  (Its my blog, and I can digress if I want!)

There were many other terms that have come and gone over the last three years.  Disappearing with nary a whimper.  Government gridlock.  Voter ID.  Washington Redskins name change.  The situation in the Ukraine.   These are just some of the terms and events that were in the forefront and have somehow evaporated from sight like mist in a wind.  Too bad that can’t be said about the Kardashians.

I am writing and practicing  my acceptance speech for the first Nobel prize for Common Sense.  I can just see it now, sitting in Stockholm waiting for that grand announcement….”And the winner of the first ever Nobel prize for Common Sense goes to”……….(Oh crap!  Sitting in Stockholm with no place to go.)

Hillary-Clinton

Some Baggage Is Just Too Heavy

Grandma P and I have recently returned from an extended cruise around South America.  Truly a ‘once in a lifetime’ trip.  It was marvelous, and I would recommend that cruise as a ‘bucket list’ event.

Getting ‘geared up’ to write this blog after this hiatus has been very difficult.  As I have said many times, “Retiring is tiring!”  Consequently, I have needed additional time to reignite my creative juices.  There were plenty of events taking place during the cruise that were worthy of a blog, so material was certainly not the issue.

It is always fascinating to meet so many interesting people on a cruise, especially a long cruise.  Not only are there the Americans, but the ship had many Canuckians, Brits and Aussies.  Having an opportunity to hear their opinions about the United States really did pique my interest about their perception of our country.  Answering their questions about the United States, especially about our politics,  kept me on my toes!   I digress, but I will discuss this further in a later blog.

The one thing that has been constant in all our travels is Grandma P’s ability to limit the amount of baggage that we take on vacation.  All of our luggage for the 49-day cruise consisted of two large bags that had to be checked, and two carry-on bags.  All of this fitted nicely in the back of a rented Ford Escape on the way to the departure port, and in the hold of United Airlines after leaving the ship.  But just like the television infomercials, “But wait!  There’s more!”  Grandma P is so adept at packing, that we made it home in good order with all the trinkets and souvenirs that we purchased in our concerted effort to stimulate the economy of South America!  Yes, she did an amazing job of limiting our baggage.

There is one person that I am familiar with that has way, way more baggage than Grandma P, and that would be Hillary R. Clinton.  You know Hillary.  She has announced her candidacy for President of the United States for 2016.

Here is just some of the baggage with which Hillary has to contend.

The Clinton Foundation

According to one source, “The Clinton Foundation’s finances are so messy that the nation’s most influential charity watchdog put it on its ‘watch list’ of problematic nonprofits last month.  The Clinton family’s mega-charity took in more than $140 million in grants and pledges in 2013 but spent just $9 million on direct aid.”

Wow!  Double wow!!  $140 million?  According to their 2013 tax forms the charity spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on conferences, conventions, and meetings; $8 million on fundraising, and nearly $8.5 million on travel.  They must travel first class on the space shuttle!  Now here is the amazing fact.  None of the Clintons are on the payroll.  This includes Hillary, Bill, Chelsea and whoever………..  But, they all enjoy first class flights paid for by the foundation.

Some of the tens of millions of administrative costs finance more than 2,000 employees, including aid workers and health professionals around the world.    But that is still far below the 75 percent rate of spending that nonprofit experts say a good charity should spend on its mission.  Charity Navigator, an organization that rates charities, refuses to rate the Clinton Foundation, as it does not meet their criteria.   Hmmmmm.  There are allegations that the Foundation has a ‘Clinton Family Slush Fund’ at its core.  (Are we surprised?)

Another large ‘red flag’ concerning this foundation is, “Who are its contributors?”  It appears that political favors granted when Hillary was Secretary of State have manifested as donations to this foundation.  While in that position, Hillary signed off on a deal that allowed a Russian government enterprise to control one-fifth of all uranium-producing capacity in the United States.  Rosatom, the Russian company, acquired a Canadian firm controlled by Frank Giustra, a friend of Bill Clinton’s and member of the foundation board.  Giustra has pledged over $130 million to the Clinton family charity.  Ronald Reagan has got to be turning over in his grave!  Russians?  Our uranium?

Recently, there have been other inquiries about other foreign contributions during the time of Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State.

That foundation alone provides enough proverbial baggage to fill the overhead compartments of a few large passenger planes.

Deleted Emails

I could not possibly say anything about the deleted emails as well as what was said by the National Post, a leading Canadian news source.   In that regard, I am going to share with you three paragraphs of their lengthy report on Hillary Clinton.

“Hillary, during her tenure as Dowager Empress at State, decided, all on her imperious own, that normal practice for record keeping, as required by law and precedent, did not apply to her.  (How could it?  She’s Hillary.) For her entire tenure – so she tells the world – she stayed off the State department’s own encrypted and secure system, and instead set up her own computer, on her own server, in her own house.

On that private and secret system, she conducted both personal and State Department business.  Then about two years after stepping down, under force of exterior revelation, she held a press conference to announce she had her staff review them all, extract what she said were official emails, and sent those self-selected emails back to State.  The rest, 30,000 according to her, were personal, and they  – along with the server! – were then destroyed.  There is now a memory hole in the history of U.S. foreign affairs.  The record of the second-most powerful office in the world, where it is not a perfect void, is questionable, selective and, inarguably, imperfect.

These emails are not text messages from a high school dance organizer.  The Secretary of State is not a teenager.  The record of diplomacy, the electronic conversations with staff, with foreign leaders, with her President, are not for her to dispose.  She has blotted out part of her own country’s diplomatic history.  This one practice alone should bar her from seeking the presidency.  It was the most monumental piece of official arrogance since the ancient Chinese Emperor declared the beginning of his reign was Year One.”

Wow!  Those Canuckians are brilliant!  That really sums up that piece of baggage quite well.  I can move on.

Benghazi

Here is a Hillary situation that will not go away.  Benghazi involved the slaying of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.  There is a House Select Committee that will again meet in the coming months concerning this event.  If I am reading the ‘tea leaves’ correctly, the original focus of the investigating committee was to determine if the deaths were caused by mismanagement by Hillary Clinton while Secretary of State.  And then, and then……..they discovered that most documents surrounding this event were emails destroyed in the 30,000-email massacre!  This has provided more fuel for an already burning fire.

But wait.  Rumor has it that as the House is now controlled by Republicans, they are going to take a silk glove approach to this matter.  Why?  Because they do not want to appear to be bullying Hillary before the 2016 election.  They are afraid they will look bad and create a sympathetic vote for Hillary.  (If she were President, do you think Vladimir Putin would use the silk glove approach?)

While being questioned by yet another committee, this one concerning Benghazi, it was asked if the State Department thought this was a terrorist act, or if these people were out for a stroll and decided to kill some Americans.  Her reply, “What difference does it make?”  It makes a huge difference, because it was obviously a well-planned terrorist attack and our government decided to give it a pass.  What I want to know is if the rumors are true that a military relief force was on the way from Italy, and our government directed the military to cancel the mission.  These rumors indicate that Obama made the decision based upon State Department input, meaning Hillary.  So much for saving the Ambassador and those Americans defending him.  Another big piece of baggage.

Bill Clinton 

I believe Bill Clinton brings more baggage to this campaign.  “I did not have relations with that woman.”  “It all depends on what the definition of is, is.”  Remember all of that?  How long are the Clintons going to continue this sham of a marriage?  If they are living within 200 miles of each other, I would be surprised.

I would like to think that people seeking political office are doing it to improve the ‘greater good’ of the electorate.  They need a plan to outline their goals and a plan for achieving those goals.  Have you heard any of what those goals are from Hillary? (Hope and Change worked for Obama.  Why have a goal or plan?  Rainbows and unicorns seem to be enough promise for voters.)   I know I am being overly optimistic about my expectations for politicians, but I do believe the only reason the Clintons are together is because of their quest for power.  Power brings money.  Power brings prestige.  Bill has been to the top and Hillary wants it, too.  She experienced it as a U.S. Senator representing a state she never lived in, and as the Secretary of State.  Both of the Clintons are automatons when it comes to the quest for power.

So there you have it.  Even with Grandma P assisting, I do not believe Hillary could manage all her baggage.  There is much more luggage in her closet than what was discussed in this piece. (Travel gate, Whitewater, Vince Foster…)  We managed our baggage with a Ford Escape, Hillary would need an aircraft carrier.

My biggest hope, is that the electorate of the United States will wise up and see through the facades of many of these presidential candidates.  Let us do something different this time and elect someone who has a goal for the country, a plan for obtaining those goals, one which protects Americans and America and places God and country first.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  Feeling HOPEful for real CHANGE!!!